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Half of school children walked or biked to school in 1969, but only 13 percent were doing it in 2009.

Open Streets arrives in Loop Sept. 8 and debuts on Milwaukee Ave. Sept. 16

Come out to enjoy the return of Open Streets—Chicago’s free urban playground—on Saturday, Sept. 8 in the Loop and Sunday, Sept. 16 in Wicker Park/Bucktown from 10 a.m.to 3 p.m. each day.

Expanding to two events this year, Open Streets will close streets to car traffic and open them up for healthy recreation including biking, running, yoga classes, skate parks, interactive playgrounds and climbing walls.

During the five-hour event on Saturday, Sept. 8, join the fun as 13 blocks in the Loop transform into the ultimate urban playground for all ages: State Street from Lake to Van Buren Streets, and this year the event is expanding to Monroe Street from State Street to Lake Shore Drive.

On Sunday, September 16, Open Streets will make an exciting debut on 15 blocks of Milwaukee Avenue, between Division and Western Avenues.

Check out the programming. Also, take a look at the video below featuring the wildly successful Open Streets event last year in the Loop.

Open Streets events create a safe public space in a car-free setting where communities can connect and where families and friends can exercise and play.

Active Trans is partnering with Chicago Loop Alliance to organize the event in the Loop, and we’re partnering with Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce to put on the brand new event on Milwaukee Avenue.

Open Streets events are modeled after similar car-free events held in cities around the world from New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles, to Bogota, Colombia, which holds its iconic “Ciclovia” event every Sunday of the year.

Follow Open Streets Chicago on Twitter and Facebook.